MANILA — The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) proposed phased implementation of limited in-person classes for all college programs in areas under Alert Level 3 and below, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday.
In a statement, Nograles said the CHED is "mandated to execute the phased implementation program to ensure the safe reopening of higher education campuses."
Under the first phase, which starts on December 2021, all higher education institutions (HEIs) in areas under Alert Level 2 may apply for limited in-person classes.
During the second phase starting January 2022, HEIs in areas under Alert Level 3 can apply for limited in-person classes.
Prior to this, only select programs, such as medicine and engineering, were allowed to hold limited in-person classes. Students from other programs studied via remote learning, which colleges and universities implemented after physical classes were banned last year due to the pandemic.
The IATF reminded the public to continue observing health protocols against the spread of COVID-19 during the phased implementation of limited in-person classes.
"These include the vaccination of all eligible individuals, the wearing of masks, social distancing, and hand-washing," it said.
CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera has said only students and school personnel vaccinated against COVID-19 can attend in-person classes.